Volcanic Ash

Volcanic Ash

Hazard Observation

1st Edition - May 24, 2016

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  • Editors: Shona Mackie, Kathy Cashman, Hugo Ricketts, Alison Rust, Matt Watson
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780081004050
  • eBook ISBN: 9780081004241

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Volcanic Ash: Hazard Observation presents an introduction followed by four sections, each on a separate topic and each containing chapters from an internationally renowned pool of authors. The introduction provides a volcanological context for ash generation that sets the stage for the development and interpretation of techniques presented in subsequent sections. The book begins with an examination of the methods to characterize ash deposits on the ground, as ash deposits on the ground have generally experienced some atmospheric transport. This section will also cover basic information on ash morphology, density, and refractive index, all parameters required to understand and analyze assumptions made for both in situ measurements and remote sensing ash inversion techniques. Sections two, three, and four focus on methods for observing volcanic ash in the atmosphere using ground-based, airborne, and spaceborne instruments respectively. Throughout the book, the editors showcase not only the interdisciplinary nature of the volcanic ash problem, but also the challenges and rewards of interdisciplinary endeavors. Additionally, by bringing together a broad perspective on volcanic ash studies, the book not only ties together ground-, air-, academic, and applied approaches to the volcanic ash problem, but also engages with other scientific communities interested in particulate transport.

Key Features

  • Includes recent case studies highlighting the impact of volcanic ash, making methods used for observation more accessible to the reader
  • Contains advances in volcanic ash observation that can be used in other remote sensing applications
  • Presents a cross-disciplinary approach that includes not only methods of tracking and measuring ash in the atmosphere, but also of the fundamental science that supports methodological application and interpretation
  • Edited by an internationally recognized team with a range of expertise within the field of volcanic ash


Primary audience are atmospheric scientists and earth scientists, specifically those working in the field of volcanic ash

Table of Contents

    • List of Contributors
    • Part 1. Introduction
      • Introduction
        • 1. Volcanic Ash: Hazard Observation
    • Part 2. Volcanic Ash: Generation and Spatial Variations
      • Introduction
        • Abstract
        • Keywords
        • 1. Introduction
        • 2. An Overview of Ash Formation and Eruption Styles
        • 3. Tephra Components and Composition
        • 4. Spatial and Temporal Variations in the Grain Size of Volcanic Deposits
        • 5. Ash Shape, Density, and Settling Velocity
        • 6. Implications for Ash Tracking and Forecasting
    • Part 3. Observations of Ash on the Ground
      • Introduction
      • Chapter 1. Field Observations of Tephra Fallout Deposits
        • 1. Introduction
        • 2. Fallout Deposits
        • 3. Piecing Together the Geological Record of Past Eruptions
        • 4. Measuring the Scale of Eruptions
        • 5. Mapping Fallout Deposits
        • 6. Volcano Metrics: Eruption Size
        • 7. Volcano Metrics: Eruption Intensity
        • 8. Quantifying Erupted Volumes From Sparse Field Observations
        • 9. Observations of Historical and Ancient Fallout Deposits
        • 10. Errors and Uncertainties
        • 11. Preservation Potential and Cryptotephra
        • 12. Conclusions
      • Chapter 2. Aerodynamics of Volcanic Particles: Characterization of Size, Shape, and Settling Velocity
        • 1. Introduction
        • 2. Particle Size Characterization
        • 3. Particle Shape Characterization
        • 4. Terminal Velocity and Drag Coefficient of Volcanic Particles
        • 5. Discussion and Concluding Remarks
      • Chapter 3. Ash Aggregation in Volcanic Clouds
        • 1. Introduction
        • 2. Ash Aggregate Types
        • 3. Observations of Ash Aggregates Falling From Recent Volcanic Clouds
        • 4. Textural Characteristics of Aggregated Ash Deposits
        • 5. Overview of Aggregate Formation in Volcanic Ash Clouds
        • 6. Summary
      • Chapter 4. Contribution of Fine Ash to the Atmosphere From Plumes Associated With Pyroclastic Density Currents
        • 1. Introduction
        • 2. Overview
        • 3. Characteristics of Co-pyroclastic Density Current Deposits
        • 4. Controls on Co-pyroclastic Density Current Plume Formation and Dynamics
        • 5. Dispersion and Sedimentation of Co-pyroclastic Density Current Ash
        • 6. Conclusions
    • Part 4. Observations of Ash in the Air
      • Introduction
      • Chapter 5. In Situ Observations of Airborne Ash From Manned Aircraft
        • 1. Introduction
        • 2. Instrumentation and Sampling
        • 3. Basic Considerations for Choice of Aircraft
        • 4. Case Studies: Eyjafjallajökull, Grímsvötn, Sakurajima, and Holuhraun Campaigns
        • 5. Results, Data Analysis, and Visualization
        • 6. Plume Physics and Fitting to Models
        • 7. Conclusions
      • Chapter 6. Electrostatics and In Situ Sampling of Volcanic Plumes
        • 1. Introduction
        • 2. Volcanic Lightning and Charge in Volcanic Plumes
        • 3. Charging Mechanisms and Laboratory Studies of Charging
        • 4. In Situ Sampling of Volcanic Plumes With Meteorological Sounding Balloons
        • 5. Conclusions and Future Measurements
      • Chapter 7. In Situ Observations of Volatile and Nonvolatile Particle Size Distributions From Balloon-Borne Platforms
        • 1. Introduction
        • 2. Aerosol Profiles With Heated Descents Following Pinatubo
        • 3. Evolution of Particle Concentration as a Function of Size Following Pinatubo
        • 4. Profiles of Aerosol Using Heated and Ambient Intakes Following Kelud
        • 5. Conclusions
    • Part 5. Aircraft and Ground-Based Remote Sensing of Ash
      • Introduction
      • Chapter 8. Detection of Airborne Volcanic Ash Using Radar
        • 1. Introduction
        • 2. Theoretical Background
        • 3. Observations of Volcanic Ash Using Radar
        • 4. Outlook and Conclusion
      • Chapter 9. Lidar Observations of Volcanic Particles
        • 1. Introduction
        • 2. History of Lidar in the Context of Volcanic Eruptions
        • 3. Aerosol Lidar Techniques
        • 4. The Retrieval of Concentrations and the Synergy With Sun Photometers
        • 5. Lidar Observations of Volcanic Particles
        • 6. Conclusions and Perspectives
      • Chapter 10. Quantitative Ground-Based Imaging of Volcanic Ash
        • 1. Introduction
        • 2. Infrared Ground-Based Imaging of Volcanic Ash
        • 3. Ultraviolet Ground-Based Imaging of Volcanic Ash
        • 4. Conclusions
    • Part 6. Observing Airborne Ash From Space
      • Introduction
      • Chapter 11. Infrared Sounding of Volcanic Ash
        • 1. Infrared Radiation and Volcanic Ash
        • 2. Ash Detection
        • 3. Retrieval Algorithms
        • 4. Validation
        • 5. Outlook
      • Chapter 12. Ultraviolet Satellite Measurements of Volcanic Ash
        • 1. Introduction
        • 2. Ultraviolet Ash Detection and Retrieval Algorithms
        • 3. Case Studies
        • 4. Conclusion
      • Chapter 13. Applications of Satellite Observations of Volcanic Ash in Atmospheric Dispersion Modeling
        • 1. Introduction
        • 2. Interpretation and Evaluation of Model Output
        • 3. Data Assimilation
        • 4. Uncertainties, Limitations, and Assumptions
        • 5. Conclusions
        • Appendix A
    • Part 7. Conclusions and Future Directions
      • Introduction
    • References
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 300
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2016
  • Published: May 24, 2016
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780081004050
  • eBook ISBN: 9780081004241

About the Editors

Shona Mackie

Shona Mackie
Shona Mackie has a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, where she worked on a project developing a new method for interpreting cloud data from satellite imagery for assimilation into weather forecast models. After a period working on operational wind energy forecasting, she returned to academic research to work on the challenges of detecting volcanic ash in satellite data, and to look at methods for forecasting its evolution and transport. Shona has presented her work at international conferences and published in it in peer-reviewed journals and is an associate fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society and a former fellow of the American Meteorological Society. She convened a successful session at EGU 2014 focused on volcanic ash and is an editor of the special issue of the Annals of Geophysics that followed from that session.

Affiliations and Expertise

Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University of Bristol, UK

Kathy Cashman

Kathy Cashman
Kathy Cashman studied for a BA degree in Geology and Biology at Middlebury College, Vermont, USA (1976), for an MSci (1st class Hons) at Victoria University, Wellington (New Zealand) and for a PhD in Earth Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, USA (1986). Her PhD project concerned applying theories of crystal size distributions to volcanic systems, and was supervised by Professor Bruce Marsh. She was an Assistant Professor at Princeton University, New Jersey, USA (1986-1991), and then an Associate (1991-1997) and Full (1997-present) at the University of Oregon. Kathy came to Bristol in 2011 on a three year Research Professorship funded by the AXA insurance company. In December 2013 she was offered an AXA Endowed Chair at Bristol. Kathy was Head of the Department of Geological Sciences, University of Oregon (2007-10) and President of the Volcanology, Geochemistry and Petrology (VGP) section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU; 2002-2004). In 2003 she was made a Distinguished Professor of the College of Arts and Sciences (Oregon), and in 2007 Kathy was made a Philip H. Knight Distinguished Professor of Natural Science (Oregon). Kathy received the AGU VGP Bowen Award in 2006, was elected a Fellow of the AGU in 2009, of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012 and a member of the Academia Europaea in 2014. Kathy currently holds a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Volcanology, University of Bristol, UK

Hugo Ricketts

Hugo Ricketts
Hugo Ricketts is currently employed as a Research Scientist at the University of Manchester and funded by the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS). He completed his MPhys in Physics and Meteorology at the University of Reading in 2004 and subsequently gained a PhD in Atmospheric Science at the University of Manchester, investigating the use of ozone lidars in the atmospheric boundary layer. He now specialises in lidar science; more specifically, the development of new lidar techniques and the use of existing lidar systems to investigate air pollution transport. During the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010 he became involved in detecting volcanic ash using lidar and reporting any sighted ash to VAAC. Together with colleagues, new techniques were developed to detect volcanic ash using different lidar systems.

Affiliations and Expertise

Research Scientist, University of Manchester, UK

Alison Rust

Alison Rust
Dr. Alison Rust has been at the University of Bristol since 2006 as a Royal Society University Research Fellow and then a Reader in Physical Volcanology. She studies the dynamics of volcanic processes using a combination of laboratory experiments, fluid mechanics, and detailed studies of ash and other products of volcanic eruptions.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Bristol, UK

Matt Watson

Matt Watson
Matthew Watson has a BSc in Chemistry and an MSc in Physics from the University of Leicester. He completed his PhD in remote sensing of tropospheric volcanic plumes at the University of Cambridge in 2000. Matthew completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Michigan Tech working on volcanic ash clouds before moving to Bristol in 2004. He is currently a Reader at the Universit yof Bristol, and works on remote quantification of volcanic emissions used for physical volcanology and environmental and climatological applications.

Affiliations and Expertise

Reader, Natural Hazards, University of Bristol, UK

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